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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
It was always a dream of mine to see both Galapagos and Machu Picchu, ever since I started receiving catalogs from Lindblad and NatGeo. If I was going to see these historic places, I wanted National Geographic to be a part of it so that I ... Read More
It was always a dream of mine to see both Galapagos and Machu Picchu, ever since I started receiving catalogs from Lindblad and NatGeo. If I was going to see these historic places, I wanted National Geographic to be a part of it so that I could maximize my experience and my learning. I wanted the see more and do more, in a safe and secure environment. But I also wanted a small group experience. I didn't want to be overwhelmed or stymied by a large cruise ship. I wanted to get closer to the islands of the Galapagos, get to know the naturalists and tour guides personally, and I wanted to meet fellow travelers who shared my enthusiasm and quest for knowledge. Lindblad/NatGeo delivered on all of those things with a luxury cruise experience for 90+ passengers. The food was local, sustainable and delicious every single day. My husband and I had the base-level cabin, but it was roomy and efficiently designed. It was so smartly laid out that we had enough room for everything we brought with us, and that was plenty. My husband is 6'4" and the shower was tall and big enough for him. The activities were varied and accommodated different interests and activity levels. We wished there were longer hikes, as an option. We'd never snorkeled before but both enjoyed deep-water snorkeling on this trip. The efficiency of the program meant the staff was always on time and ready for us, whether it was handing out wet suits, fins and masks or jumping on the zodiacs to begin the next activity. We were never bored, and we always had a clear picture of the day's activities so we could make decisions about what we wanted to do. This was our first cruise ever. It set the bar really high! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Whale Watching!! Cruising through the incredibly beautiful and serene Sea of Cortes and then around Cabo San Lucas to the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. We were able to see 5 different species of whales (up close and personal, ... Read More
Whale Watching!! Cruising through the incredibly beautiful and serene Sea of Cortes and then around Cabo San Lucas to the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. We were able to see 5 different species of whales (up close and personal, including petting a momma and baby grey). Porpoises and sea birds galore. The new Venture was magnificent and the crew including the naturalists, expedition leader and photographers were all incredibly accommodating and knowledgeable. We had a cabin with floor to ceiling windows that allowed us to view our surroundings during those few times that we were not in the zodiacs, viewing the wildlife or relaxing on the sundeck. Our shore excursions were well planned, interesting and fun. The shipboard food was plentiful and rated a five star review. This two week plus expedition was absolutely perfect in all ways. We would highly recommend this trip to nature lovers of all types. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a family cruise with 6 of us going. Very interested in seeing the ecology of the Islands. Lindblad/National Geographic did not disappoint. In fact, it was so incredible we will never forget! We saw so much and learned so much. ... Read More
This was a family cruise with 6 of us going. Very interested in seeing the ecology of the Islands. Lindblad/National Geographic did not disappoint. In fact, it was so incredible we will never forget! We saw so much and learned so much. A wonderful immersive experience. Thanks to the best crew EVER! They were so caring and informative. The small ship meant everyone received the same amazing treatment and experience. We saw almost ever Animal we hoped and not from a mile away, but right there. We swam, snorkeled, hiked our way around 6 do the Islands and each one was an experience. Each one was absolutely stunning inits landscape and animal life. On board, the ship was beautiful and the food incredible. Locally sourced and delicious. The information talks were great. Keep in mind our expedition leader has been doing this for 40 years. You can understand how good they are! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise due to the nature & places the cruise went. We knew there would be things we'd never see again. The ports were fabulous. There were so many things to see. The service was great & staff very friendly. ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the nature & places the cruise went. We knew there would be things we'd never see again. The ports were fabulous. There were so many things to see. The service was great & staff very friendly. There were many excursions daily. The only thing we feel would be better is if prior to the trip an itinerary of the each days activities had been sent. We were told casual clothing which I thought was for dinner so I didn't pack correctly. I thought we'd be in bathing suits most of the time so for myself I didn't pack tee shirts or shorts. As far as the food there was plenty of choices but all fancy. We would have preferred just plain simple food(meatloaf, hamburgs, etc). The food we ate was good but we didn't eat much. Lunch salads needed to have a lot more items to put in the salad. Usually there was only 2 items other than the lettuce. The ship & cabin was great. Due to the price I don't think we'd go again but you never know. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
As a scientist and biologist, I wanted to explore the Galapagos Islands for myself to witness the uniqueness of species that motivated Charles Darwin to advance his factual theories on evolution and natural selection. The National ... Read More
As a scientist and biologist, I wanted to explore the Galapagos Islands for myself to witness the uniqueness of species that motivated Charles Darwin to advance his factual theories on evolution and natural selection. The National Geographic team aboard the Endeavor II gave us an exceptionally motivating expedition of the most unique location on our planet. The experience was enhanced by the warm, friendly, motivated and well-informed staff, especially the expedition leader, Carlos, who was also a comedian. There was no shortage of excellent Ecuadorian food and snacks and drinks. There was even time for early morning stretching on the observation deck and a work out in the gym. One of the most exciting experiences on board was meeting so many new people for the first time. The Lounge and Dining Room were large and cozy enough to make this possible. The frequent visits by zodiacs to the different islands highlighting the unique species was breathtaking to say the least. I've never seen so many beautiful creatures in my life. There's no doubt that I will do this expedition again, soon. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been on our travel list. When we were offered an opportunity to do it with friends we immediately agreed. This cruise was hosted by Lindblad / National Geographic. The cruise was great, there was no ... Read More
Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been on our travel list. When we were offered an opportunity to do it with friends we immediately agreed. This cruise was hosted by Lindblad / National Geographic. The cruise was great, there was no part of the cruise which I found lacking or poorly done. L/NG provided the smoothest transition from the airport to the hotel on the day of arrival and then the same service the next day as we flew out to the GI and boarded the Endeavor II. The handling of the people and our luggage was smooth, and quick. They transferred the people and luggage from shore to the ship in Endeavor II zodiacs. By the time we completed the buffer lunch our luggage was in our room. We traveled to and visit 6 islands, with hiking, snorkeling or kayaking available to see this natural wonder up close. Each days events were briefed in detail the night before, during an open bar happy hour, and then again in the morning. Carlos the Expedition Leader kept track of what was going an insured that the schedule was kept in order to accomplish the myriad of events which occurred through out the day. Ecuador does not allow individuals onto the islands with an Ecuador licensed Naturalist. There were seven Naturalists on board the E II. The lead all the small group tours, hikes and snorkeling. They were very knowledgeable and all were native to Ecuador. The promised sightings of the varieties of wildlife and birds always happened. Breakfast was always a buffet. Lunch was also a buffet. Dinner was a menu selection of local seafood and other meats. There were always at least three choices. One of which was Vegan/Vegetarian. The food was awesome. The ship crew was friendly and always helpful. If they had trouble with English they would find someone to help them and then help you. All the Dining and housekeeping staff spoke English fluently. The Deck Crew and Engine Crew understood English, but did not necessarily speak it well. However, they never ran away if you asked a question. They always got answer. The crew was very proud of its ship. It was clean, and in very good repair. I highly recommend this cruise, Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I thought this expedition was fantastic in every respect. It was very educational with the lecturers by the naturalists and photographers. The Orion hotel staff and cruise were helpful and friendly at all times as were the naturalists and ... Read More
I thought this expedition was fantastic in every respect. It was very educational with the lecturers by the naturalists and photographers. The Orion hotel staff and cruise were helpful and friendly at all times as were the naturalists and photographers. I met a fantastic group of people from many parts of the world. Antarctica was nothing short of spectacular particularly the colour of the ice against the various aspects of the sun and the wildlife. The wildlife and the story of Shackleton on South Georgia was incredible as was the history of the Falkland Islands. I am vision impaired and I had a huge challenge to convince those in charge of this expedition that I am capable of doing this expedition on my own. I am proud that I have been able to do this on my own and want to encourage Lindblad and National Geographic to see how they can make their expeditions more accessible for people with a disability and to ensure that if a person with a disability applied for one of their expeditions that they are not pre judged on whether they are able to do the expedition or not but look at how this can be done and providing the traveller with vital facts so that an informed decision on travel can be made in the first place. In most instances minor adjustments are all that are required. Well done to all. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
For persons seeking adventures and wishing to learn more about the planet we share, this expedition experience was beyond expectations. The scientists and naturalists traveling with us expanded my worldview through sharing their knowledge ... Read More
For persons seeking adventures and wishing to learn more about the planet we share, this expedition experience was beyond expectations. The scientists and naturalists traveling with us expanded my worldview through sharing their knowledge not only during scheduled presentations, but when hanging out with us on the bridge and on the deck and eating with us in the dining room. How special it was to observe and hear from the whale team! And the ice!! So many colors and shapes. And who could not be awed by the adventures in the iceberg graveyard with those killer whales attacking and killing the seal right within yards of us!! Yes the food was good and I was so overfed everyday, and my cabin was cozy, clean, and comfortable. I was fortunate not to have problems with the Drake Passage, but rather enjoyed the adventure of it. Antarctica is a magical place and we other inhabitants of Planet Earth need to advocate for pristine places like this. I love my pictures, but I am glad to have a good memory so far, because the pictures cannot do it justice. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Getting close to Grey Whales - touching them! Our main - primary - virtually only - objective was to get into the San Ignacio Lagoon (Unesco Site) to get up close and TOUCH the whales - as you advertise EVERYWHERE. It did NOT happen. ... Read More
Getting close to Grey Whales - touching them! Our main - primary - virtually only - objective was to get into the San Ignacio Lagoon (Unesco Site) to get up close and TOUCH the whales - as you advertise EVERYWHERE. It did NOT happen. Extremely disappointing. Supposedly the weather (wind) did not permit it. However, on land trip in La Paz a couple on the shuttle into town took a trip with a different company and were able to get into the Lagoon apparently the SAME day we were not able to get there. WHY? It appeared the Captain was either too cautious or wanted to move things along or (as apparently there were) problems with the ship (e.g. water pressure and a crew member had to be taken off the ship due to illness). Over $10,000 to sale around, visit towns (nothing exciting), and beaches (just ok) - but not do what we went to do. Somehow, based on the Itinerary, we missed an entire day - apparently just sailing around. I doubt seriously that we will take another Expedition with Lindblad. Four of us took the Galapagos trip with Lindblad (my husband and I were in Cabin 401) and it was great. We did everything and more on that trip. We should be refunded for this trip! BTW - The Extension was very good - they (not Lindblad) did a great job. Also, the Expedition Leader did not handle communicating logistics well - we learned things only because people asked questions, which wasted time when he could have given information to start with. REALLY REALLY DISAPPOINTED!!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to ... Read More
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to find different people to eat meals with. The hotel manager and his staff were outstanding. The naturalists were all qualified, well experienced and most importantly local. They were approachable and took pride in explaining the biology and geology of the islands. The excursions were very well planned and executed in an impeccable manner without any hitches. As in our past journey, the logistics were managed outstandingly well. This is our second trip with Lindblad/ NatGeo and it fully met our expectations (which were very high after our first trip to Antarctica on the NG Explorer). We covered the older islands and didn’t go to the two western-most – Isabella and Fernandina. However, we had seen all the wildlife that we ever wanted to see – the finches, the mocking birds, the boobies (all three types), frigate birds, tropic birds, Galapagos penguins, the giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas, barn owls, Flamingos, Shearwaters, Herons, Egrets, and many other animals. We went snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, went kayaking (and some others did paddle boards), rode in glass bottom boat and had our fill of marine life that included numerous fish species, rays, sea turtles, sea lions, etc. We also went to a white tipped shark nursery among the mangroves on northern side of Santa Cruz island. On the last day of the voyage we went across the equator to the island of Genovesa which was a paradise for birds with mangroves abound. A visit to the Darwin Foundation was special. The National Geographic photographer on board – Todd Gippstein was special. He gave a presentation nearly every day on how to shoot better, sharing his vast experience in a very accessible manner. And, he was very hands on in terms of help with cameras and shooting in the field. He was a great magician too, so entertainment came alongside learning! Overall, the people of Lindblad and National Geographic made the trip very special. Read Less
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